Introduction: Although EEG is designed to record cerebral activity, it also records electrical activities arising from sites other than the brain. The recorded activity that is not of cerebral origin is termed artifact and can be divided into physiologic and extraphysiologic artifacts. While physiologic artifacts are generated from the patient, they arise from sources other than the brain (ie, body). Extraphysiologic artifacts arise from outside the body (ie, equipment, environment).
The systematic approach of recognition, source identification, and elimination of artifact is an important process to reduce the chance of misinterpretation of the EEG and limit the potential for adverse clinical consequences.
Principles used to discriminate artifactsfrom EEG signals: Physiological activity has a logical topographic field of distribution with an expected fall off of voltage potentials. Artifacts have an illogical distribution that defies the principles of localization
The heart produces 2 types of artifacts Electrical Mechanical Both types are time locked to cardiac contractions and are most easily identified by their synchronization with complexes in the ECG channel The electrical artifact actually is the ECG, as recorded from head electrodes. The P wave and T wave are usually not visible, because of the distance from the heart and the suboptimal axis. Essentially, the artifact is a poorly formed QRS complex. Most prominent when the neck is short.
The complex usually is diphasic, but some EEGs may depict it as either monophasic or triphasic. Overall, the artifact is best formed with referential montages because of their greater interelectrode distances and ECG field’s approx. equal potential across the head. Because of the equipotential field, montages with an average reference have minimal ECG artifact. With bipolar montages, the artifact occurs with maximum amplitude and clearest QRS morphology over the temporal regions and often is better formed and larger on the left side. The R wave is most prominent in channels that include the ear electrodes and may demonstrate a dipole with A1 positive and A2 negative.
Cardiac artifact ECG artifact is identified by its fixed period and morphology and is limited to T3-A1channel in this bipolar montage
ECG artifact may occur inconsistently by not being present with every contraction of the heart and may have an irregular interval when a cardiac arrhythmia is present. In either situation, it may be identified by its temporal association with the QRS complexes in an ECG channel. Cardiac pacemakers produce a different electrical artifact. it is distinct from ECG artifact in both distribution and morphology. Pacemaker artifact is generalized across the scalp and comprises high frequency, polyphasic potentials with a duration that is shorter than ECG artifact.
Pacemaker artifact Transients comprising very fast activity recur in channels with the A1 and A2electrodes. The transients are simultaneous to similar discharges in the ECG channeland correspond to a permanent pacemaker’s output
Mechanical artifact from the heart arises through the circulatory pulse and may be considered as a type of electrode artifact. It occurs when an electrode rests over a vessel manifesting the pulse and appears as a periodic slow wave with a regular interval that follows the ECG artifact’s peak by about 200 msec. Sometimes it has a saw-tooth or sharply contoured morphology. It occurs most commonly over the frontal and temporal regions and less commonly over the occiput; however it may be present anywhere. Pulse artifact is easily identified by touching the electrode producing it. This both confirms the movement of the electrode with the pulse and alters its appearance on the EEG as pressure is applied
Pulse artifact Focal slow waves at the left occiput follow each heart beat, as indicated in the ECGchannel. The slow waves are artifact due to electrode movement and were eliminated byrepositioning the O1 electrode
another form of mechanical Ballistocardiographic artifact is cardiac artifact. It results from the slight movements of the head or body that occur with cardiac contractions. This partly may be due to the pulsatile force on the aortic arch from the abrupt redirection of blood flow. Ballistocardiographic artifact is similar in morphology to pulse artifact but is more widespread. If it is due to electrode lead movement, it may involve one or a few electrodes. If it is due to movement of the head on a pillow, it involves a collection of posterior electrodes and is altered by repositioning the head or neck on a pillow. Occasionally, ballistocardiographic artifact is generalized.
Distinguishing features versus Benign Epileptiform Transients ofSleep : Like BETS, ECG artifact typically comprises individual transients that are low amplitude, are morphologically conserved, and occur in the midtemporal regions. The temporal correspondence to simultaneously recorded ECG is the best means to differentiate these two waves. If an ECG channel is not present, identifying the wave in full wakefulness excludes BETS and identifying a regular interval between the waves supports ECG artifact.
Distinguishing features versus focal ictal and interictal Epileptiformdischarges: ECG artifact may disrupt the EEG’s background activity similarly to epileptiform discharges. Moreover, it usually is diphasic or triphasic with a fast component that has a duration within the spike range. When the artifact occurs either with a highly regular interval or can be compared to an ECG channel, differentiating it from interictal epileptiform discharges is straightforward. An episodic occurrence pattern requires careful scrutiny of the morphology and location. ECG artifact almost always occurs in channels that include electrodes that are low on the head, especially ear electrodes.
When a wave only occurs in such channels and has a perfectly conserved morphology, it is likely to be ECG artifact. IEDs show greater variation between occurrences than ECG artifacts even when they recur as the same wave type, that is, they vary more in amplitude, duration, contour, and location than ECG artifact. Paroxysmal tachycardia may produce ECG artifact that resembles an ictal pattern. Identifying it as artifact relies on the features that are used for distinguishing IEDs, including preservation in morphology and temporal association with the QRS complex in an ECG channel. The regular interval feature also is helpful because the artifact also will be present at times between the episodes of tachycardia.
Lateralized EpileptiformDistinguishing features versus PeriodicDischarges: The diphasic and triphasic morphology and periodic occurrence pattern are features that PLEDs and ECG artifact share. Differentiating these waves is straightforward when comparison to an ECG channel is possible. When an ECG channel is not present, the regularity of the intervals between the transients is the key distinguishing feature. PLEDs usually are not nearly as regular in their interval as ECG artifact.
conditions for recording an This is especially true because the EEG do not produce significant changes in heart rate. Other distinguishing features are distribution and frequency. Although ECG artifact may be unilateral, it is often is bilateral, and PLEDs, by definition are not bilaterally synchronous. Bilateral periodic epileptiform discharges (BiPEDs) are bilaterally synchronous, but BiPEDs usually have large, bifrontal fields. ECG artifact is usually maximal in the two temporal regions. The BiPEDs of CJD provide one exception to this distinguishing feature because they may be b/l without a large field for a time during the course of the illness.
Frequency is a less reliable means for differentiation. Most ECG artifact will be at 1Hz or faster because a heart rate slower than 60 bpm is unusual. In contrast, PLEDs usually occur with intervals greater than 1 sec. However, the interval between PLEDs varies, especially across different etiologies.
Types: Electrode pop Electrode contact Electrode/lead movement Perspiration Salt bridge Movement artifact
as one of two disparate Electrode artifacts usually manifest waveforms, brief transients that are limited to one electrode and low frequency rhythms across a scalp region. The brief transients are due to either spontaneous discharging of electrical potential that was present between the electrode or its lead. The spontaneous discharges are called electrode pops, and they reflect the ability of the electrode and skin interface to function as a capacitor and store electrical charge across the electrolyte paste or gel that holds the electrode in place. With the release of the charge there is a change in impedance, and a sudden potential appears in all channels that include the electrode.
This potential may be superimposed on the background activity or replace it. Sometimes more than one pop occurs within a few seconds. Electrode pop has a characteristic morphology of a very steep rise and a more shallow fall.
Electrode pop The nearly vertical rise followed by the slower fall at the F3 electrode is typical of electrode popartifact. Also typical is an amplitude that is much greater than the surrounding activity, a field thatis limited to one electrode, and repeated recurrence within a short time
Poor electrode contact or lead movement produces artifact with a less conserved morphology than electrode pop. The poor contact produces instability in the impedance, which leads to sharp or slow waves of varying morphology and amplitude. These waves may be rhythmic if the poor contact occurs in the context of rhythmic movement, such as from a tremor. Lead movement has a more disorganized morphology that does not resemble true EEG activity in any form and often includes double phase reversal, that is, phase reversals without the consistency in polarity that indicates a cerebrally generated electrical field.
Electrode Movement artifact The focal slowing in the T4-T6 and T6-O2 channels has no field beyond T6 electrode andhas the oscillations typical of rhythmic electrode movement
Lead movement Multiple channels demonstrate the artifact through activity that is both unusually highamplitude and low frequency and also disorganized without a plausible field
The smearing of the electrode paste between electrodes to form a salt bridge or the presence of perspiration across the scalp both produce artifacts due to an unwanted electrical connection between the electrodes forming a channel. Perspiration artifact is manifested as low amplitude, undulating waves that typically have durations greater than 2 sec; thus, they are beyond the frequency range of cerebrally generated EEG. Slat bridge artifact differs from perspiration artifact by being lower in amplitude, not wavering with low frequency oscillation, and typically including only one channel It may appear flat and close to isoelectric.
Sweat artifact The decreased amplitude and very low frequency oscillations are present diffusely,which is consistent with the whole scalp’s involvement. The recurring sharp wavesacross most channels are ECG artifact.
Sweat artifact This is characterized by very low-frequency (here, 0.25- to 0.5-Hz) oscillations. Thedistribution here (midtemporal electrode T3 and occipital electrode O1) suggests sweaton the left side
Salt bridge artifact Activity in channels that include left frontal electrodes is much lower in amplitude and frequencythan the remaining background. The lack of these findings when viewed in a referential montageconfirms that an electrolyte bridge is present among the electrodes involved.
Distinguishing features versus ocular artifact: Slow roving eye movements produce artifact that has a frequency and field similar to that perspiration artifact. The key distinguishing feature is the rhythmicity, phase reversal, and broad, bifrontal field of the eye movements. Roving eye movements occur with drowsiness and are an involuntary and repeated horizontal ocular movement. The movements have a relatively constant period and demonstrate a phase reversal because of the eyes’ dipoles. With right gaze, the field around the rt frontotemporal electrodes becomes more positive and the fields around the left frontotemporal electrodes becomes more negative. This produces a phase reversal not seen with salt bridge artifact, even when the low amplitude activity happens to be rhythmic.
Distinguishing features versus IEDs: Electrode pop resembles IEDs because both occur as paroxysmal, sharply contoured transients that interrupt the background activity. However, electrode pop involves only one electrode. Therefore, it does not have a field indicating more gradual decrease in the potential’s amplitude across the scalp The lack of a field including multiple electrodes is highly rare for IEDs except in young infants. The morphology of electrode pop also is different from spikes by having a much steeper rise and much slower fall.
produce EEG artifact Numerous types of external devices and may do so through the electrical fields they generate or through mechanical effects on the body. The most common external artifact is due to the alternating current present in the electrical power supply. This noise is usually medium to low amplitude and has the monomorphic frequency of the current, which is 60 Hz in North America and 50 Hz in much of the rest of the world. The artifact may be present in all channels or in isolated channels that include electrodes that have poorly matched impedances.
60 Hz artifact The very high frequency artifact does not vary and is present in the posterior centralregion, which does not typically manifest muscle artifact. This example was generatedby eliminating the 60Hz notch filter.
from falling Electrical noise may also result electrostatically charged droplets in an IV drip. A spike like EEG potential results, which has the regularity of the drip.
IV drip Triphasic and polyphasic transients are occurring simultaneous to the falling of drops inan IV infusion. This EEG corresponds to electrocerebral inactivity.
Electrical devices may produce other forms of noise. Anything with an electric motor may produce high amplitude, irregular, polyspike like, or spike like artifact. This is due to the switching magnetic fields within the motor. The artifact occurs with the motor’s activity; thus, it may be constant or intermittent, as is the case with infusion pumps. Mechanical telephone bells are the classic source for a more sinusoidal form of this artifact but are increasingly a less common source of the intermittent form of this artifact.
Electrical motor The very high frequency activity suggests an electrical source, and the fixedmorphology and repetition rate indicate an external device. This was caused by anelectric motor within the pump.
Mechanical devices such as ventilators and circulatory pumps usually produce artifacts with slower components than other electrical devices. Their artifact may resemble ballistocardiographic or other electrode artifact in that the artifact is generated by movement of electrodes or least as the body is moved by the device. The artifact typically repeats with a fixed interval and is a slow wave or a complex including a mixture of frequencies superimposed on a slow wave. Two exceptions to this typical artifact pattern are the artifact resulting from ventilators that deliver air with an oscillating, high pressure burst.
frequency artifact in This may produce rhythmic higher channels that include electrodes either nearer the pharynx or in contact with a fixed surface, such as a pillow or bed. Thus, it may appear as intermittent, rhythmic activity and may be similar to alpha frequency activity when it is across the posterior head. Its highly monomorphic frequency and fixed repetition interval are its characteristic features. Overall, the number of devices that may produce artifact and the variety of artifacts that each device may produce based on its settings greatly complicates the job of recognizing artifacts based on specific features.
Mechanical ventilator The artifact present across the right occiput has the fixed morphology and repetition rate ofmechanical artifact. Its location relates to the head resting on the electrodes involved andmoving at times of rapid airflow. The Fp2 and F4 electrodes generate artifact due to poorcontact
Circulatory pump Sharply contoured, b/l frontal repetitions occur with a fixed interval and are due to apump providing circulatory support and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Pulseartifact is present in multiple channels and most apparent in the A2-T4 channel
However, the challenge may be met by realizing that artifacts from external devices usually produce waveforms, that are highly dissimilar to cerebrally generated wave forms. Because of this, highly unusual waveforms should always be suspected as artifact. Proving that the wave is artifact usually rests on the technologist recording the EEG. On seeing the unusual wave, the technologist should search the environment for possible causes and test the possibilities whenever possible by observing for a temporal association between the device’s action and the artifact. When such information from the technologist is not present, the assumption that an unusual wave is artifact is preferred by convention over an assumption of abnormality.
Distinguishing features versus Ictal patterns: Because external device artifact may include fast components and demonstrate evolution within an occurrence, it may resemble ictal patterns. This artifact is most easily distinguished from ictal patterns by its short duration, regular repetition, and highly preserved morphology. Almost all sources for artifact produce either continuous artifact or artifacts that last less than several seconds and repeat as identical waves at least several times a minute. Such an occurrence pattern is very unusual for a seizure.
Distinguishing features versus PEDs: When an external device causes intermittent artifact, it often has a regular interval and may be similar to PEDs in its periodicity. However, this type of artifact rarely has the diphasic or triphasic morphology of PEDs and usually has a distribution that is highly unusual for PEDs, such as the inclusion of electrodes that are not adjacent to one another. Also unusual for PEDs is a generalized occurrence, which is common for device artifact.
Movement during the recording of an EEG may product artifact through both the electrical fields generated by muscle and through a movement effect on the electrode contacts and their leads. Although the muscle potential fields are the signals sought by electormyographers, they are noise to electroencephaographers. Indeed, EMG activity is the most common and significant source of noise in EEG. EMG activity almost always obscures the concurrent EEG because of its higher amplitude and frequency.
Muscle artifact The high amplitude, fast activity across the b/l ant. region is due to facial musclecontraction and has a distribution that reflects the locations of the muscles generating it.Typical of muscle artifact, it begins and ends abruptly.
of clinical EEG and too Its frequency is higher than that fast to be visually estimated. However, it may appear regular and in the beta frequency band or as repetitive spikes if the high frequency filter (low pass filter) is set at 35 Hz or less. Without this filtering, EMG artifact usually has a more disorganized appearance because the individual myogenic potentials overlap with each other. Occasionally, individual potentials are discernible. This occurs with involuntary motor unit activity such as from fibrillations and has a classic EMG wave appearance.
The duration of EMG artifact varies according to the duration of the muscle activity; thus, it ranges from less than a second to an entire EEG record. Similarly, the distribution varies; however, the artifact occurs most commonly in regions with underlying muscle, specifically the frontalis and masseters. Thus, EMG artifact most commonly occurs in channels including the frontal and temporal electrodes.
EMG artifact The stereotyped potentials at the T3 electrode are EMG artifact. The potentials’ durationare briefer than cerebrally generated spikes, and unlike cerebrally generated activity,they have a field limited to one electrode.
Repetitive EMG artifact may occur with photic stimulation as a time locked facial muscle response to the flash of light. This is termed a photomyogenci or photomyoclonic response and occurs over the frontal and periorbital regions bilaterally. It may extend to include a larger region when the myoclonus involves the neck or body. Larger regions of myoclonus commonly produce simultaneous electrode and movement artifact.
The photomyogenic response has a 50 msec latency from the stobe’s flash and, therefore, may occur synchronously with the occipital photic stimulation driving response. It may be present with eyes opened or closed but tends to occur more often with eyes closed. Its occurrence with eyes opened may be accompanied by ocular artifact. Obviously, it disappears immediately when photic stimulation is stopped.
Photomyogenic artifact Simultaneous to the 6Hz strobe stimulations are transients across the frontal region thatreflect an involuntary muscle contraction.
Although the oropharyngeal muscles are not near EEG electrodes, swallowing and talking also produce artifact. This is partly EMG artifact from the pharyngeal muscles and partly due to the tongue’s inherent dipole. The tongue’s tip is electronegative compared to its base; thus movement of the tongue toward or away from EEG electrodes alters the overall electrical field around them. This is termed as glossokinetic artifact.
The resulting artifact has a wide field with maximal amplitude frontally and comprises isolated slow waves, delta frequency range activity, or, more typically, slowing with superimposed faster frequencies. It often also includes simultaneous EMG artifact. Glossokinetic artifact is highly rhythmic when the tongue has a tremor or the patient is a nursing infant.
Distinguishing features versus beta activity: Because the frontalis muscle runs over the frontal central region, EMG artifact often co-localizes with the region of maximum beta activity and resembles it with its characteristic frequency greater than 25 Hz. Morphological difference is the principal distinguishing feature. EMG artifact has a sharper contour and less rhythmicity when the high frequency filter is set at more than 60Hz.
When it occurs as a rhythm within the beta frequency range, it does so as individual EMG potentials that have durations of less than 20 msec but are separated by an interval that gives it a beta frequency range appearance. The significant variation in this interval provides another distinguishing feature, especially when the interval becomes so brief that the potentials appear continuous. Such very fast activity is beyond the beta frequency range and almost always indicates muscle artifact.
Distinguishing features versus Paroxysmal fast activity: EMG artifact and PFA both develop abruptly and include high-amplitude, very fast activity. However, they differ in their frequency components. Muscle artifact contains a greater number of frequencies and, therefore, appears more disorganized. This basis in a superimposition of fast frequencies also makes muscle artifact appear slightly different with each occurrence. PFA has a more organized morphology that is stereotyped among occurrences.
Versus photoparoxysmal response: Because photoparoxysmal responses may have a maximal field frontally, their field may overlap with that of photomyogenic artifact. Furthermore, photomyogenic artifact has a spike-like morphology due to its basis as individual motor unit potentials. Differentiating the two patterns depends on morphologic differences and the degree of association between the transients and the flashing stimulation. Photomyogenic artifact is very sharply contoured and lacks after-going slow waves.
Furthermore, it almost always occurs across a broad range of stimulation frequencies, occurs commonly at almost every stimulation frequency used, and does not persist beyond the period of stimulation. This contrasts with photoparoxysmal responses that typically occur at one or two stimulation frequencies, may not be time-locked with the stimulations, and may continue beyond the stimulation interval.
Most eye artifacts are due to each eye’s inherent 100mV electrical dipole. The dipole is oriented along the corneal-retinal axis and is positive in the direction of the cornea and negative in the direction of the retina. The dipole becomes relevant to the EEG recording when it becomes a moving electrical field, as occurs with changes in gaze and eye opening and closure. Vertical eye movements accompany eye opening and closure with deviation upward which is called Bell’s phenomenon.
Eyelid movement with its myogenic potentials also may contribute to ocular artifact with eye opening and closure. Blinking produces an ocular artifact because of the rapid movement of the eyes both up and down and appears on the EEG as a bifrontal, diphasic, synchronous slow wave with a filed that does not extend beyond the frontal region. The amplitude of the artifact decreases quickly with greater distance from the orbits. The wave is maximum amplitude and surface positive at the frontal poles. Because the artifact is produced by deviation of the eyes upward, the negative end of the dipoles is not detectable with conventional montages.
Blink artifact Bifrontal, diphasic potentials with this morphology and field are reliably eye blinkartifact.
Repetitive blinks usually appear as a sequence of the slow wave ocular artifacts and thus resemble rhythmic delta activity. However, blepharospasm may produce an artifact with a faster frequency. Although ocular flutter involves vertical eye movements, it differs from repetitive blinks by being more rapid and having lower amplitude. Because of this, its EEG artifact is more rhythmic and lower amplitude, which gives it a greater resemblance to rhythmic delta activity. When periocular muscle contractions accompany the eye movements of ocular flutter, the resulting artifact may appear as a run of bifrontal spike and slow wave complexes. The spike arises from the brief EMG artifact related to the periocular contraction.
Eye flutter artifact Medium amplitude, low frequency activity that is confined to the frontal poles isidentified as ocular artifact through its morphology. Compared to blink artifact, flutterartifact typically has a lower amplitude and a more rhythmic appearance
are detectable with Both ends of the eyes’ dipoles lateral eye movements. This is observed with greater positivity on the side to which gaze is directed and greater negativity on the opposite side. With bipolar montages, positive and negative phase reversals are seen at the F7 and F8 electrodes.
Lateral eye movement Although a horizontal, frontal dipole is the key finding with lateral eye movements, theartifact is also distinguished by its morphology, which has a more abrupt transitionbetween the positive and negative slopes that blinks and most flutter. The initial gaze inthis segment is to the right.
Ocular artifact from lateral gaze is most apparent during drowsiness, when the eyes demonstrate repeated, slow lateral movements. This produces rhythmic, slow artifact anteriorly with a field that is maximum at the frontal poles and temples and a frequency that is less than 1Hz. Because the amplitude is also low, the wave also resembles an unstable baseline for the superimposed EEG activity. The most characteristic feature of the low amplitude slowing due to roving eye movements is the opposite polarity of the slowing in the left and right frontotemporal regions. This artifact typically occurs intermittently and is accompanied by slowing of the alpha rhythm.
Slow roving eye movement Unlike the saccades of the lateral gaze, slow roving movement artifact does not haveabrupt changes. Instead, it reflects the smooth lateral movements with phase reversingslow activity.
lateral eye movements The EEG during more rapid sometimes includes a single MUP from contraction of the lateral rectus muscle. This low amplitude transient is termed a lateral rectus spike and usually is present at the F7 (left gaze) or F8 electrode (right gaze) The lateral rectus spike may be followed immediately by slower eye movement artifact in the same location and this may result in what appears as one wave with a morphology that resembles a focal IED.
Lateral rectus spike The F7 or F8 location of lateral rectus spikes
Although they are lateral gaze movements, the rapid eye movements of REM stage sleep have a morphology that differs from lateral gaze during wakefulness REM artifact appears as asymmetric waves with a quicker rise that fall. Of course, their location is the same as the other artifacts produced by lateral gaze.
Distinguishing features versus Delta activity: Isolated monomorphic frontal slow waves and frontal intermittent rhythmic delta activity (FIRDA) have the same wave duration and similar field to ocular artifact from eye opening and closure. Blinks are more similar to isolated slow waves, and eye flutter is more similar to FIRDA. The field is the key distinguishing feature between ocular artifact and delta activity. Unlike delta activity, ocular artifact does not extend into the central region. However, a morphologic difference also exists due to ocular artifact’s sharper contour.
The two also may be distinguished based on recognized eye movements, as described in the technologist’s notation. If notation is not present, then identification may be based on whether the wave is absent in drowsiness and sleep, states in which the eyes are closed. Using both supraorbital and infraorbital electrodes is the most definitive means for differentiation. Ocular artifact produces a phase reversal between infraorbital electrode and supraorbital electrode channels because the area of maximum potential exists between the electrodes. In contrast, the area of maximum potential for cerebrally generated slowing is above the orbits; thus, it does not produce a phase reversal between these channels.
Distinguishing features versus IEDs: When the slow wave artifact of ocular flutter occurs in combination with the faster frequency artifact from eyelid movement, a compound wave results that appears to be a bifrontal spike and slow wave complex. Although the frontal poles may be the center of a spike and slow wave complexs field, this is an unusual location. When the bilateral spike and slow wave of a generalized IED has a phase reversal, it usually is at F3 or F4. A focal spike and wave may occur at one frontal pole but it would not have bilateral symmetry. Spike morphology also may distinguish these waveforms.
Because it is generated from muscle artifact, the spike of the stimulated spike and wave complex is less stereotyped that the IED. Lastly, true IEDs usually occur in states beyond light drowsiness, which is the state for ocular flutter. Even when the IEDs occur only with drowsiness, they continue to occur into stage II non-REM sleep. Another compound wave results from the combination of the brief myogenic potential from the lateral rectus and the slow wave artifact from lateral gaze.
This appears especially similar to an IED because the lateral rectus spike results form a single motor unit potential and is, therefore, relatively stereotyped across occurrences like the spike of an IED. It also occurs in the anterior temporal region, which is a region that often produces focal IEDs. Distinguishing lateral rectus spikes form IEDs depends on the lateral rectus spike’s consistent low amplitude, presence only at F7 and F8, and absence on some lateral eye movements that still demonstrate the slow wave artifact.
in their amplitude IED spikes typically vary more and location, even if the variations only minor going slow wave, which is the opposite of the lateral gaze artifact in which the slow wave may occur without the spike. A shifting asymmetry between F7 and F8 is not helpful because some individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy have bilateral independent temporal IEDs.
Artifacts are usually easily recognized by experienced EEGer. The process of visual analysis, remontaging, and digital filtering allow identification of most physiologic and nonphysiologic artifacts. Reviewing an epoch of EEG in a different montage may allow the EEGer to determine that a particular waveform does not have a physiologic field, and thus be more certain of its artifactual nature. Digital filters can be applied and removed multiple times, and can significantly improve interpretation of EEG contaminated by artifacts by allowing specific frequencies to be removed from the digital display.
Use of Band Pass Filters: If the analysis is restricted to certain frequency bands, an automated algorithm can be designed to only analyze activity in this frequency band. For ex., a 1 to 20Hz band pass may be used to remove muscle artifact. This method is not very useful for analysis of the entire bandwidth of EEG, as artifacts can occur at any frequency. Even for very narrow frequency bands, there may be significant artifact remaining after band pass filtering. The process of filtering may significantly alter the appearance of EEG and make subsequent identification of artifacts more difficult.
Manual rejection of artifact segments: visually reviews the In this case, a technologist or EEGer entire EEG recording and marks segments with artifacts. This is a reliable method, and may detect some artifact that would be missed by automated techniques. It is time consuming, however, and reader fatigue may become problematic for long or multichannel recordings. Subtle or brief artifacts may not be identified, and different readers may have different thresholds for rejection. This method is only possible for offline(not real time) digital analysis.
Automatic rejection of artifact segments: This technique rejects short segments of EEG if the segment exceeds predefined thresholds. These thresholds can be simple analysis of the EEG channels themselves such as amplitude, numbers of zero crossings, or 60Hz artifact. If a segment shows very high amplitude, it is eliminated. Some techniques use other special electrodes to identify artifact signals, such as EOG,EMG, EKG or accelerometers. If the signal in these channels exceeds a threshold, the segment of EEG will be rejected.
online or offline. This technique can be used This automatic rejection techniques will not identify all possible artifacts, especially for ambulatory patients or in electrically hostile environments. Again, the entire EEG segment is rejected if the threshold is exceeded, so, some useful EEG may be eliminated.
Source decomposition techniques aim to decompose EEG signals into individual components that represent EEG and others that represent artifact. Once the artifact component is identified, it is removed, and other remaining signal is recomposed. Examples of these methods include spatial filtering, principal component analysis, and independent component analysis. Wavelet based and neural network algorithms allow adaptation of this method to a wider variety or artifact types.
Automated subtraction of artifact: These methods aim to identify artifact and to remove only the artifact from the recording, leaving a clean EEG for digital analysis. Simultaneously recorded EOG or EKG can be subtracted from an EEG channel using a computer. The algorithm must be adapted for each individual patient. These techniques may result in distortion of the EEG signal, as the EOG also contains some normal brain signals that will be subtracted.